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Works CitedAnderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999. Print."Banned Book 'Speak' by Laurie Halse Anderson Compelling Novel for All Teens." Examiner.com. N.p., 02 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2015."Books." Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.Forbidden. "'Speak', Laurie Halse Anderson." N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.Popmatters.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2015."Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - Trailer." YouTube. YouTube, 28 Mar. 2011. Web. 9 Sept. 2015."Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Winter 12 -Andria, Natasha & Sarah)." Young Adult Literature Reviews -. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2015.

The main character is Melinda Sordino. She is a freshman in high school. She is the narrator of the story. Every event is from her point if view. She is not confident. She doesn't like the way she looks or how she dresses. No one at school talks to her except for the new girl, Heather, who doesn't know what happened to Melinda over the summer. She is lonely and sad and feels alone. "I see a few friends-people I used to think were my friends-but they look away." This shows the reader that Melinda has become unpopular. She is also bullied by her classmates. "Thwap! A lump of potatoes and gravy hits me square in the center of my chest." Something bad happened to her at a summer party and she called the police. Students at the party got in trouble and were mad at her at the start of the new year. She wants things to go back to the way they were before. She wants her friends back.

Main Character

What happened first...

The author wrote this story because she wanted her audience to know the importance of speaking out. If you have a problem that could be as bad as Melinda's don't keep it in. Tell someone like a parent, a guidance counselor, or a friend. You will feel better in the end. They can help you. At first, the author didn't want to write this story. She states, "Why would I want to revisit the agonies of adolescence. Wasn't that the point of surviving to adulthood-so I could block out the traumas of being a teenager?" Melinda's life didn't improve until she spoke up. The author teaches us that. The theme is universal. Keeping your problems to yourself is not the answer. Your problem does not have to be as serious as Melinda's. They won't go away unless you speak.

Melinda and her friends lied to their parents. They said that they were going roller blading and sleeping over a friend's house. They were really going to an end-of-summer cheerleader party with "beer and seniors and music." "The kegs were in the barn where the speakers were set up." That should have been a warning to Melinda. Nothing good ever happens to underage drinkers. However, students were drinking, including Melinda. She met a senior, Andy Evans, that she described as a Greek god. Melinda does not where her friends are. Andy asks her to dance. "The music was sweet. This is what high school was supposed to feel like," she tought. This is where the night took a terrible turn. Melinda ends up calling the police and her friends get in trouble for lying to their parents. Melinda was raped at the party. In the beginning, kids at school were mad at her for calling the police. They didn't know what had happened to her. Heather becomes her only friend. It was too hard for Melinda to tell anyone what happened. In the end, the truth comes out and Melinda regains all of her friends.


Author's Message

Laurie Halse Anderson


The story takes pace in Syracuse, New York. Most of the events in the story happen at Merryweather High School in the present time. I know this because the author included present day technology like cell phones. The mood of the story is mostly sad. Melinda had something bad happen to her and lost her friends. She feels depressed and alone. The atmosphere is scary because she is afraid of the boy that she met at the party. Two places where she feels safe are the old janitor's closet and the art room. "Art follows lunch, like dream follows nightmare." Art class is a place where she is comfortable because she likes the teacher and it is the one romm that gets "every bit of light it can." She can escape from her problems there.


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